Report: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner behind withdrawal of religious freedom executive order

Report: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner behind withdrawal of religious freedom executive order
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner attend the Freedom Ball, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, reportedly helped convince him to trash a draft of an executive order that would have overturned President Barack Obama’s workplace protections for LGBT individuals and strengthened legal exemptions for companies based on religious beliefs.

The draft also would have reversed Obama’s order banning contractors from discriminating against LGBT individuals, and would have stopped forcing some companies to provide contraceptive coverage through their employer-sponsored health insurance, according to ABC News.

On Tuesday, after reports of the “religious freedom” executive order draft surfaced, the White House released a statement that read, “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election.”

“The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump,” the statement added.

Sources close to the couple told Politico that Kushner and Ivanka Trump worked behind the scenes to convince Trump to make the decision not to sign the executive order and to release the statement expressing definitive support for LGBT rights. Kushner and Ivanka Trump have been strong supporters of gay rights.

After reports of the executive order draft surfaced, the White House suggested that the draft was one of around 200 executive orders that never came close to even hitting Trump’s desk. Many of them were reportedly proposed by outside groups and transition team officials.

“Some are real, some are drafts of things people like, and some are ideas people from outside have suggested,” a White House official told Politico.